Coastal Carolina grabbed their second straight Big South title Sunday winning a rematch of last year's title game against Winthrop. Warren Gillis lead the Chants in the 81-70 win with 22 points and 6 assists.
Two questions are on most fans minds following today's win. First, how far can the Chants get in the NCAA Tournament? And Second, is the current setup for the Big South Tournament fair?
Cliff Ellis's Chanticleers pushed the number one seed Virginia to the max last year keeping the game tied late in the second half but eventually falling by 11 to the Wahoos. Expect a similar match up and seed for the Coastal this year.
There are two key differences when examining last year's team to this year's. The Chants don't have the big bodies in the paint they had a year ago but this team is a lot more experienced than last year's squad. Gillis, Josh Cameron, Elijah Wilson, and Shavaughn Wiggins form a solid and veteran backcourt, for the most part, and will really pressure a team offensively from the perimeter in the first round. Badou Diagne, Marcus Freeman, and Tristian Curtis can hit the boards hard but they just don't match the beef Coastal had inside last year with El-Hadji Ndieguene and others.
The other question, previously referenced, is whether or not it's fair for Coastal to be hosting the tournament. Winthrop fans have to be feeling sour over the results from the past two years and there have been plenty of tweets like this:
As 3-seed, Coastal Carolina got to host Big South tourney, play 5/6/7 seeds for auto bid. Nice life, Cliff Ellis.— Ken Pomeroy (@kenpomeroy) March 7, 2015
It does seem that Coastal gets every break. They host the tournament, which some see as the Big South catering to the Chants not to lose them to another conference, and they also seem to get schedule breaks (longest layoff before the tournament) and also mysteriously get game times that fit their wishes during the tournament. Part of this festers from Big South commissioner Kyle Kallander's comments about 18 months ago saying that the conference would benefit from a dominant team.
The only thing about the gripe the past two years is if the conference was in a situation like the Atlantic Sun where the higher seed hosts then nothing would've been different postseason for the Chants. Simply put, Myrtle Beach is a destination that fan bases are willing to travel to for the tournament and right now there aren't really any other viable alternatives.
For now the Chants will sit for a week awaiting their opponent. Winthrop may be headed to the CBI or CIT but it seemed as if they weren't interested in that hefty investment last year.